The vulnerability of suffering and sacredness of life

by Joseph Houghton

As I was getting ready the other morning, I looked in the mirror, knowing that I would be speaking to my parish after Mass. I thought – maybe I should shave off this ridiculous moustache… That got me thinking. Why was I was growing this thing and putting up with endless comments from my wife and frequent ridicule from the boys that I teach.

Many men and indeed, many women too, are suffering in our country. Whether it be from physical illnesses like cancer, or mental illness, like depression or anxiety. The person who suffers often carries this pain within themselves and, as we know, it can become a real burden.

In our current culture, many people who suffer are vulnerable. They are at a very real risk of being lost in the system or even taken advantage off. Not everyone has supportive friends and family.

Our Catholic faith informs our consciences and tells us that all life is sacred – no one has the right to take the life of another.

This is why the legalisation of euthanasia is dangerous. It puts the lives of vulnerable New Zealanders at risk and violates the principle that all human life is sacred, no matter the age, gender, religion or race.

From the Nathaniel Center Website:

Many people see this issue primarily as a debate about freedom of choice. However a law change would pose real dangers for our society. In spite of lawmakers’ best intentions, there are no adequate legal safeguards that can be put in place to protect vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, or those with disabilities should euthanasia or assisted-suicide be legalised.

To oppose euthanasia is not so much to deny choice to a particular group but to uphold the choice to continue living for far greater numbers of New Zealanders.

There are many groups in New Zealand that are encouraging people to make submissions to the Health Secretariat, to voice their concerns, to stand up for those who will be vulnerable if euthanasia legislation passes in this country. If you want to support culture that values life and seeks to protect the vulnerable, then you need to make a submission. Head to the Care Alliance website to find out more information: http://carealliance.org.nz/issues/make-a-submission/ . These submissions must be made by February 1st 2016.

I grow this moustache as a small way to show solidarity with those who are suffering. It is a drop in the ocean of compassion we need to show towards those who suffer.

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